The fleet of J’s that gathered together for this year’s J/Fest were greeted by stormier than normal weather and with breeze directions that were nowhere near the norm for San Francisco Bay. Here’s an account of what it was like to race in the J/105 fleet from the winner, Bruce Stone sailing his boat ARBITRAGE- “It rained and was cold and gusty, up to 25 knots, out of the southeast, so they put the starting line between Harding Rock Buoy near Angel Island and Alcatraz, and ran us to the south near Aquatic Park, a routing I have never done before, across the shipping lanes and across the tide…and the wind near the shore was in the 8-11 range so setting the rig tension was tricky. Needless to say it was our kind of cockamamie race. We had a good start, duked it out with 4-5 boats who also sailed well, and ultimately won the race. It rained quite hard toward the finish, the front went through and they sent us home. The wind died after we hit the dock!”
In the 22 boat strong J/105s it was a donnybrook as usual for the top five sailors. Who won was determined by the finish of the last “cockamamie” race with St. Francis YC’s ARBITRAGE avoiding a bad race and just beating Tiburon’s Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK, getting a first to Scooter’s ninth. Bruce’s team on ARBITRAGE won with a 1-6-3-1 for an 11 point tally, beating by four points Scooter Simmons sailing BLACKHAWK with a 4-1-1-9 for 15 points. Lying third was Phil Laby and Rick Pipkin’s RACER-X just two points back….again with a mathematical chance to win in the last race despite their 9th place in the third race.
Report courtesy of the J/Boat website.